Best Savings Accounts For Expats In Turkey part 1 – that will be the topic of today’s article.
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The best time to consider your financial situation is when you are moving to a new country.
In order to get the most out of your money, you need a savings account that will provide you with an interest rate that is better than what you can get anywhere else. Besides, a savings account is probably more complicated for expats in Turkey because some banks do not offer them or allow them to be opened online.
If you find a bank that does offer savings accounts to expats in Turkey, then you can begin your search for the best option. In this way, you have a better chance of getting the most out of your money. If you go to a bank in person, they should walk you through the process.
As an expat in Turkey, you might have to show proof of your status and address before being allowed to open up a savings account in that bank. Since some banks will not do this for just anyone, you must find out what to do before going there.
Without the proper knowledge about how to go about opening an account, you could waste a lot of time. A savings account is important for saving up money to use when necessary. If you are unable to do this because there are too many hoops to jump through in order to open the account, then this will put you in a bad position.
However, we have compiled this article to meet your needs and requirements. Today, you don’t have to keep surfing the internet to get the right information about the best savings accounts for expats in Turkey. That being said, we will walk you through everything you need to know about Turkey banking.
7 Things to Know about Banking System in Turkey
The banking system in Turkey is a mixed one that consists of both state-owned and private banks. The majority of the banks operating in Turkey are also foreign-owned. The Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey (CBRT) was established under the Banking Act No: 4458 dated 27/12/1983, with its headquarters in Ankara.
CBRT is the banking system regulator and supervisor of Turkey. As well as being the central bank, it also has functions related to ensuring price stability in the country. The Turkish economy is classified as a ‘developing’ one with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $865.862 billion.
A big number of the banks operating in Turkey are foreign-owned, with most operating through their representative offices in the country. Some of these are American, British, Japanese, and French banks, among others. Majority of the foreign banks operating in the country have representative offices that publish quarterly reviews on their activities in Turkey.
Without further ado, below are the things expats need to know about the banking system in Turkey.
1. Dominated By Foreign Lenders
Foreign banks dominate the Turkish banking industry, with the majority of the banks operating in the country being representative offices. There are more than 36 Turkish commercial banks in total. Other types of banks include Islamic Banks, specialized banks providing services for farmers, savings houses that have no acceptance or deposit services as well as Postal Savings Banks.
2. Made Up Of Public, Private, and Islamic Banks
The banking sector in Turkey is dominated by foreign-owned banks, although there are a number of local Turkish banks that form part of the country’s financial industry. The country has both public and private banks, the latter being the dominant type. The Government of Turkey owns the eight state-owned banks.
3. They Were Open to More Competition
With the financial crisis, many foreign banks have been struggling to survive. Many of them had to close their branches in Turkey because they weren’t profitable anymore. However, this time wasn’t the same for Turkish banks. They became more open to the competition!
Some of them even merged with foreign banks or bought smaller local banks to improve their services and therefore become more competitive.
4. Cut Down On Credit Cards Offers
In the last couple of years, Turkish banks have been offering a lot of credit cards to customers that use them a lot to get cash backs or discounts at different shops. After the economic crisis, these practices became less common because Turkish people started to use their cards less, facing a lot of defaults.
5. They Had More Foreign Investment
The European Union had been one of the biggest investors in Turkish banks before the economic crisis; it had more than $20 billion invested. However, these investments dropped significantly after 2008 because there was a lack of trust in Turkey’s banking system.
The Central Bank of Turkey had to make some reforms in order to get foreign investors back after the drop. And it seems like these investments are coming back, especially from Qatar.
6. They went online
Turkish banks have also become more open to internet banking and e-wallets recently. Many banks started to recruit new employees for this bank section because they thought it was very important. Many banks were trying to keep up with their western peers in this regard.
7. They Had To Keep Up With Inflation
Turkey’s inflation rate has been pretty high all over the last decade. The Central Bank of Turkey has done its best to make sure that the Turkish lira remains stable, but it hasn’t always succeeded in this regard. That’s why the banks themselves have often changed their interest rates for savings accounts and loans to cover their costs and compensate for this inflation.
Best Savings Account in Turkey
Turkey is developing rapidly with the growth of its economy. If you live in Turkey, you may want to take advantage of the higher interest rates by opening a savings account. Here are some tips on choosing the best savings accounts that will give you high returns without hidden fees.
Savings Accounts at Ziraat Bank
Ziraat is one of the best banks to trust in Turkey in 2022. Since it is a state-owned bank, all its products are available to Turkish citizens without discrimination. You can find several savings accounts that will meet your needs by logging into their website with your ID number and password from any computer or mobile phone.
The different Ziraat savings accounts are the basic account, special account for youth, private saver account, premium account, and help saver account. Private savings accounts do not have any required minimum balance, while other Ziraat Bank Savings Accounts need a minimal amount to be maintained in the bank every month.
There are loans available against your deposits with Ziraat Bank savings accounts. You can borrow up to 75 percent of the value of your deposit by signing an agreement with Ziraat Bank.
Savings Account at Akbank
Akbank is another leading bank in Turkey with many years of experience, offering quality products and services for individuals and businesses since it was established in 1933. It has branches in all major Turkish cities and offers almost every service related to your savings.
Akbank is not only one of the biggest banks in Turkey, but also it has international partnerships with several foreign banks that will allow you to transfer money or make payments when traveling abroad easily. You can use any ATM in the world without paying extra fees for withdrawing your cash.
After opening a savings account, you can also apply for a loan or overdraft to use your savings for projects. The minimum amount required in Akbank is YTL 200, and the maximum is YTL 500,000.
Savings Accounts At Is Bankasi
Is Bankasi A.S has been operating since 1966 and currently operates more than 1,100 branches in Turkey. You can find many Is Bankasi branches in most major cities with wide ATM networks around the country. If you are interested in opening a savings account at Is Bankasi, you can visit their website and bring your ID document to any branch to complete the process without any cost.
There is no minimum required balance in Is Bankasi savings accounts, although the bank may require you to maintain a certain amount in your account to offer additional services. Similarly, the maximum is also not limited, and all kinds of customers will be accepted without discrimination.
One of the most convenient features of Is Bankasi Savings Accounts is that you can open an investment deposit (Likidite) with your savings in Is Bankasi and a time deposit account in any other bank in Turkey. The minimum amount required to open a Likidite is YTL 50,000, and the maximum can be up to 80 percent of your total deposit with the bank.
Savings Accounts at Garanti Bankas
Garanti Bankas A.S is the largest private bank in Turkey and one of the most reliable and trusted banks operating in Turkey as of 2022. One of its advantages is that there are no service fees for ATM withdrawals with Garanti Banka’s savings accounts.
Garanti offers many different types of savings accounts at several levels; you can choose an account based on your needs and budget. For example, you can choose a Premium Savings account with a low minimum balance at Garanti Banka’s savings accounts.
Savings Accounts at Vakifbank
VakifBank is another successful private bank in Turkey with many years of experience in the financial sector since it was established in 1981. It operates more than 900 branches in Turkey and maintains one of the largest banks in Turkey by offering quality products and services to its customers.
VakifBank offers several different types of savings accounts that allow you to raise funds for your future projects or offer convenient ways to manage your money. The minimum required balance at VakifBank is YTL 1,000, and the maximum is not limited.
Savings Accounts at Isbank
Isbank is the largest Turkish bank with more than 25 branches in Turkey. It was established in 1990 and has enjoyed fast growth ever since, serving millions of customers every year. You can open a savings account by visiting any branch of Isbank or online via their website for free without providing any minimum amount.
Like the other banks, Isbank has no limitations for everyone who wants to open a savings account with them. Isbank Savings Accounts come with different interest rates according to the type of account you open and whether it is a standard or premium. If you maintain your balance above YTL 50,000 in any month, your interest rate will be higher than those who maintain a lower balance.
Savings Accounts at Alternatif Bank
Alternatif Bank was established in 2009 as the first digital bank in Turkey and is now among the biggest banks in the country. It fulfills all your banking needs online or with mobile phone apps without visiting a branch and offers fast and secure online services.
Apart from online banking, Alternatif Bank also offers savings accounts and all other features common to other Turkish banks, such as loans or overdrafts against your deposits. You can apply via the bank’s website without any cost for opening an account and get a notification on your mobile if your application is accepted. However, you will need to visit any branches to complete the process.
The minimum amount required to open a savings account is YTL 100, and Alternatif Bank does not limit the maximum amount. You can withdraw or transfer money without limits from your account if you maintain a certain balance in it. Withdrawals and transfers via online banking and mobile apps are free of charge.
The benefits of opening a savings account with Alternatif Bank are that you can easily transfer money via ATM, online, or mobile banking to your accounts in other banks around the world without fees. You can also carry out any transactions on your account conveniently without maintaining a minimum balance in it. All these features are available for free according to the terms of Alternatif Bank.